Poodle cats are a new breed of cat with curly fur, but poodle cats don’t bark. Poodle cats may have fur that resembles that of poodles, but they don’t hike their legs when they have to pee.
Nine generations after the mother of the new breed was discovered, “Miss DePesto,” when Jeri Newman, adopted a kitten born to a feral cat in Montana in 1987 that had a genetic mutation, the Selkirk Rex or “poodle cat” had now become an officially recognized breed of cat.
She named the cat Miss DePesto after the curly-haired character in the American television show “Moonlighting,” according to Mother Nature Network. Miss DePesto’s curls were the result of a spontaneous gene mutation that only affected her out of the litter
There have been references to a poodle cat on the web that go back years. Until somewhat recently, the term seems to have been used to refer to all manner of unique animals that have traits both feline and canine.
However, this past week the characteristics what specifically constitutes a poodle cat have been pegged down. The poodle cat, officially known as Selkirk Rex, is a distinct curly haired cat breed caused by the gene mutation mentioned above.
The study, titled “Selkirk Rex: morphological and genetic characterization of a new cat breed,” was the work of the Institute of Animal Breeding and Genetics’ Department for Biomedical Sciences at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna in Vienna, Austria.
According to the study:
“Rexoid, curly hair mutations have been selected to develop new domestic cat breeds. The Selkirk Rex [or poodle cat] is the most recently established curly-coated cat breed originating from a spontaneous mutation that was discovered in the United States in 1987. Unlike the earlier and well-established Cornish and Devon Rex breeds with curly-coat mutations, the Selkirk Rex mutation is suggested as autosomal dominant and has a different curl phenotype.”
Today, 25 years and nine generations of curly furred cats later, researchers have confirmed that the cats are a genetically distinct breed.
The curly hair is a dominant trait, so the cats can be crossbred to maintain genetic diversity while still retaining the signature fur. The Selkirk Rex also has long-haired varieties and in a wide range of colors.
Selkirk Rexes are not suitable for people with allergies as they frequently shed their coat. They come in many different colors and are calm, peaceful animals because they are usually bred with Persian or British shorthairs.
Want to buy one? Be prepared with a big roll of bills, as the “poodle cats” aren’t cheap.The price of one of these cats can run anywhere from a few hundred dollars to as much as $1,000.
Poodle cats are cute, but remember that male poodle cats don’t hike their legs like regular male poodles. Also, don’t feed them bones.
Written by: Douglas Cobb